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coat of arms map
Bratislava coat of arms
Bratislava (Slovakia)
Basic data
State : Slovakia
Kraj : Bratislavský kraj
Okres : Bratislava
Region : Bratislava
Area : 367.6 km²
Residents : 437,725 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 1,191 inhabitants per km²
Height : 152  m nm
Postal code : 8XX XX
Telephone code : 0 2
Geographic location : 48 ° 9 '  N , 17 ° 7'  E Coordinates: 48 ° 8 '41 "  N , 17 ° 6' 46"  E
License plate : BA, BL, BT
Kód obce : 582000
Community type : city
Urban area structure: 5 districts with 17 districts
Administration (as of December 2018)
Mayor : Matúš Vallo
Address: Magistrát hlavného mesta SR Bratislavy
Primaciálne námestie 1
81499 Bratislava
Statistics information on

Bratislava ( Slovak pronunciation ? / I [ 'bracɪslava ], until 1919 Slovak Prešporok , German Pressburg or before the spelling reform 1996 Pressburg , Hungarian Pozsony ) is the capital of Slovakia and with 437,725 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019) the largest city ​​of the Country. It is located on the south-western border of Slovakia at the border triangle with Austria and Hungary , making it the only capital in the world that borders on more than one neighboring country . At around 55 km as the crow flies , Bratislava and Vienna , apart from the Vatican , which is located within Rome , have the shortest distance between two European capitals . Audio file / audio sample

As the political, cultural and economic center of the country, Bratislava is the seat of the government of Slovakia and the location of several universities , museums, theaters and other economic, cultural and scientific institutions.

The history of the city was shaped by numerous ethnic groups and cultures with different emphasis, such as Celts , Romans , Teutons , Avars , Germans , Magyars , Jews and Slovaks . In the course of its history, Bratislava was one of the most important economic and administrative centers of Greater Moravia , the Kingdom of Hungary (also within the framework of the Austrian monarchy or Austria-Hungary ) and Czechoslovakia . The city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1536 to 1783 and 1848, and the capital of the (first) Slovak Republic from 1939 to 1945 . In 1968 Bratislava became the capital of the Slovak Socialist Republic (Slovak: SSR) in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (ČSSR) and briefly (1990-1992) in the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic (ČSFR). Since 1993 it has been the capital of the independent state of Slovakia.

The landmark of the city is the Bratislava Castle ; a fictional castle with three towers appears on the coat of arms.



Bratislava in a satellite photo from 2003

The city is located in the south-west of the country in the Bratislava district , at the border triangle Slovakia-Austria-Hungary. The respective borders are from the center five kilometers to the west and 20 kilometers to the south. The border with the Czech Republic is 62 kilometers north. Vienna , the capital of Austria, is located 55 kilometers west of Bratislava. Both cities are also known as the Twin City and form the center of the Centrope European region . The capital of the Czech Republic, Prague , is about 290 kilometers to the north-west and the capital of Hungary, Budapest , 165 kilometers to the south-east (all data refer to the air line ).

Bratislava is located on both sides of the Danube ( Dunaj in Slovak ), which flows through the city from west to south-east and is between 200 and 300 meters wide in the city. In the west of the urban area is the Thebener Pforte (Devínska brána) , the breakthrough valley between the Braunsberg on the southern, Austrian bank and the Thebener Kogel on the northern Slovak bank. At this point the border river March (Morava) flows from the north into the Danube; the mouth of the March includes a small portion of the Záhorie landscape , which geomorphologically belongs to the Borská nížina lowland and thus to the Vienna Basin . The Bratislava Castle (Pressburg, 212  m nm ) in the middle of the city marks the beginning of the mostly north or left bank of the Slovak Danube lowlands (Podunajská nížina) in the Little Hungarian Plain , to which the eastern and southern parts of the urban area extend. The Little Danube (Malý Dunaj) branches off south of the harbor bridge , a left branch of the Danube in the Danube lowlands, and forms with the Danube the Great Schüttinsel (Žitný ostrov) . About three quarters of the urban area belong to the lowlands.

The rest of the quarter is characterized by a mountainous landscape: the Carpathian Mountains begin in the city of Bratislava with the Theben Carpathians , the most south-westerly section of the Little Carpathians (Malé Karpaty) . In the area of ​​the Lamač Gate (Lamačská brána) the Bösingen Carpathians begin , to which the Kamzík Mountain ( 439  m nm ) is one of the city's landmarks. Several brooks arise in the mountains, of which the Vydrica is the largest and richest in water. In the north-west of the city, the Mláka stream collects brooks in the March catchment area, and in the north-east the Račiansky potok with its tributaries via the Šúrsky kanál ( Šúr Canal) belongs to the Čierna voda catchment area . The city covers an area of ​​367.66 km², making it the largest municipality in Slovakia in terms of area. The lowest point of the urban area is at 126  m nm on the Danube near Čunovo, the highest point is the summit of the Thebener Kogel (Devínska Kobyla) at 514  m nm

There are several branches along the Danube, which will continue to exist even after the river regulation has been completed. Downstream these are Devínske rameno , Karloveské rameno , Pečnianske mŕtve rameno , Chorvátske rameno , Biskupické rameno , Jarovské rameno , Rusovské rameno and Mošonské rameno . Between the Karloveské rameno and the Danube lies the Sihoť island, which is important for the water supply in Bratislava . In the south of the city the Danube opens up to the Hrušov reservoir, which is part of the Gabčíkovo hydropower plant complex . The Moson-Danube branches off from the main river near the state border with Hungary at the Čunovo weir .

There are several protected areas in the city, including two landscape protection areas (Chránené krajinné oblasti) in the Little Carpathians ( Malé Karpaty ) west and north of the city and in the Danube floodplains ( Dunajské luhy ) on the southern edge of the city, as well as nine smaller protected areas such as the Theben Kogel.

Bratislava borders the following municipalities: Stupava , Borinka and Svätý Jur in the north, Ivanka pri Dunaji and Most pri Bratislave in the east, Dunajská Lužná , Rovinka , Kalinkovo and Hamuliakovo in the southeast, the Hungarian Rajka in the south and the Austrian municipalities Deutsch Jahrndorf in the west , Pama , Kittsee , Berg , Wolfsthal and Hainburg south and Engelhartstetten and Marchegg north of the Danube.

Panorama from Bratislava Castle with the old town (left), the Danube and the Petržalka district (right)


Bratislava lies in the temperate zone and in the area of ​​the continental climate with four distinct seasons. The summers are mostly warm and dry, the winters cold and humid. Overall, Bratislava has only a small amount of precipitation with an annual 667 mm. It also has longer periods of drought and is located in one of the warmest and driest areas of the country, which is very suitable for viticulture. Due to the prevailing northwest wind, which hits the Little Carpathians at right angles, the parts of the city in the northwest facing the wind are a little cooler and more rainy. The mean air temperature in the city center averages 10.7 ° C. The transition period in spring and autumn is usually short. Devín and Devínska Nová Ves are regularly endangered by floods from the Danube and March.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: World Meteorological Organization
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Bratislava
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 2.4 5 10.6 16 21.6 24.5 26.9 26.7 21.7 15.4 7.6 3.6 O 15.2
Min. Temperature (° C) −3.5 −2.2 1.3 4.9 9.6 12.9 14.7 14.5 10.7 5.6 1.4 −1.5 O 5.7
Precipitation ( mm ) 42 37 36 38 54 61 52 52 50 37 50 48 Σ 557
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 2.2 3.2 5.0 7.1 8.5 9.5 9.6 8.9 7.1 4.7 2.1 1.7 O 5.8
Rainy days ( d ) 14th 12 13 11 11 12 11 11 10 10 14th 15th Σ 144
Water temperature (° C) 1 2 5 9 13 16 18th 18th 15th 11 6th 3 O 9.8
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Primeval times, Roman times to Great Moravia

A Celtic coin and its replica in the shape of a modern 5 kroner coin

The first proven permanent settlement in the area occurred in the Neolithic around 5500 BC. By members of the culture of the linear ceramic band . After many other cultures settled in the 5th century BC The Celts the urban area. The Celtic tribe of the Boier founded in today's city center around 115 BC. A fortified settlement ( oppidum ), where there was, among other things, a mint. From the 1st to 4th centuries AD, the area south of the Danube was under the rule of the Romans (in the south), while the actual urban area north of the Danube belonged to Germania magna . The Danube Limes ran through what is now the city, near Rusovce the Gerulata fort was located . From the time around the turn of the ages to 568 AD, the area belonged to the empire of the Germanic Quadi . The remains of a Roman private bath (balneum) of a Germanic prince near Dúbravka, which is imprecisely known as villa rustica , date from the 3rd century .

The Slavs arrived in the area around the year 580, towards the end of the Great Migration , after the Quadi had withdrawn to Italy with the Longobards . In response to the supremacy of the Avars rebelled sedentary expectant Slavic tribes and founded in the year 623, the kingdom of Samo . This first historical Slavic state structure lasted until 658. From the end of the 8th century until 833 the castles of Pressburg and Thebes were important centers of the principality of Nitra and after 833 Great Moravia . In the second half of the 9th century the Bratislava area was part of the Carolingian East Mark . The first documented mention of the city (apart from the modern mention by Johannes Aventinus, referring to around 805 ) took place in 907 in connection with the battles of Pressburg between Bavarians and the Magyars , from which the latter emerged victorious.

Kingdom of Hungary until the end of the Middle Ages

The heraldic document from 1436

The political development in the 10th century is unclear. Most historians assume that the city had been under Magyar (Hungarian) rule since around 907 (at the latest since around 925). The County Bratislava was probably founded either end of the 10th century or the 11th century. According to some authors, the city came back to Bavaria around 990 , but shortly afterwards it came to the Hungarian state as a dowry from Gisela of Bavaria when she married the Hungarian King Stephan I. Around 1001 the city was briefly conquered by Poland , along with the whole of Slovakia , until it finally fell to the Kingdom of Hungary in 1030.

As a result, a market settlement developed below the castle, which, due to its strategic location on the western border of Hungary, was repeatedly exposed to attacks by other powers. There were always clashes between Hungary and Bavarian, then Austrian, Bohemian and Roman-German princes or kings, as in the attacks of 1042/1052 by the Roman-German King Heinrich III. or the Bohemian King Ottokar II. Přemysl in the 1270s as part of the Hungarian-Bohemian Wars. A toll law is said to have existed as early as the 11th century, around 1100 so-called divine courts took place here according to Koloman's code , which were otherwise only reserved for diocese seats. The Pressburg chapter was created later, the oldest surviving enacted document dates from the year 1236. According to the representation of the Arab cartographer al-Idrisi , Būzāna (the name given) was a “flourishing medium-sized city with many inhabitants and enough different things and food for survival ”and dense development.

After the German victory over the Hungarians in the Battle of Lechfeld in 955, German settlement began on both sides of the Donaufurt near Pressburg, which was promoted by the Hungarian kings after the turn of the millennium. After the devastation of the surrounding area by the Mongols ("Tatars") in 1241, the Pressburg market was resettled by Germans , who since then formed the majority of the population until the 1920s. A Bratislava judge (villicus Posoniensis) named Jakob appears in writing for the first time in 1279. On December 2, 1291, the Hungarian King Andreas III awarded the title. the town charter , which at first only applied to the east of St. Martin's Cathedral, while the castle with the future castle grounds remained in royal possession. In the late Middle Ages, Pressburg was a town characterized by vineyards, handicrafts, trade and fishing. In 1405 Emperor Sigismund von Luxemburg declared Pressburg a royal free city . In 1465 the Universitas Istropolitana was founded on behalf of Matthias Corvinus , which was closed again in 1490 after Corvinus' death.

16th century to the First World War

Pressburg in 1787

After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, large parts of the Kingdom of Hungary had to be ceded to the Ottomans, which is why Pressburg was declared the capital of the remaining territory known as Royal Hungary in 1536 , which was now ruled by the Habsburgs . From this point on, the city became the seat of all important authorities and institutions and from 1543 also the seat of the Archbishop of Gran . Between 1563 and 1830, eleven kings and eight queens from the House of Habsburg were crowned in St. The 17th and the beginning of the 18th centuries were also marked by a series of plague epidemics , flood disasters, further battles with the Ottomans , resistance to the spread of the Reformation and several anti-Habsburg uprisings that began with Stephan Bocskai's uprising in 1604 only came to an end with the peace of Sathmar after the suppression of the uprising of Francis II Rákóczi in 1711.

In the 18th century, especially during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa between 1740 and 1780, Pressburg became the largest city and one of the most important cities in the entire Kingdom of Hungary. The population tripled. Thanks to the presence of the Hungarian nobility, numerous new palaces, monasteries and country estates were built, while the castle became the seat of the royal governor. Cultural and public life also gained momentum, for example in 1776 with the opening of the first permanent theater, the City Theater, the predecessor of today's Slovak National Theater. During this time the newspaper industry also developed: the first to appear was the weekly Nova Posoniensia (1721–1722) founded by Matthias Bel . The German-language Preßburger Zeitung followed in 1764 (published until 1929), in 1780 the Hungarian-language Magyar Hírmondó (until 1788) and in 1783 the Slovak Prešpurské noviny (until 1787). Under Maria Theresa's son Joseph II , however, a loss of importance began, especially after the crown jewels were transferred to Vienna in 1783 and the administration was relocated to Ofen (now part of Budapest ). Only the Hungarian state parliament met in the city until 1848, but it became more and more provincial.

City map from 1895 (Hungarian)

In 1805 diplomats from Austria and France signed the Peace of Pressburg in the Primatialpalais after Napoleon's victory in the Battle of Austerlitz . After the Austrian Empire, together with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, again opposed the French Empire in 1809 , French troops besieged and bombed the city, blowing up Devín Castle , among other things . Two years later, Bratislava Castle was also destroyed in a fire . In response to the revolution of 1848/49 , the Hungarian state parliament in Pressburg passed the March Acts , which, among other things, abolished serfdom .

The first railway in the Kingdom of Hungary was the (initially only horse-drawn) railway from Pressburg to Svätý Jur , which opened in 1840 . The rail connections to Vienna and Pest were added in 1848 and 1850. The industry after 1848 and especially after the 1880s developed so strongly in the city that shortly before the First World War Pressburg was the second most industrialized city ​​in the Kingdom of Hungary after Budapest . This development was favored by good rail connections, the Danube as a waterway and source of energy, and areas that were freed up after the river regulation was completed in which factories could settle. Branches such as the chemical, mechanical engineering, food, textile and electrical industries were most strongly represented. At the end of the 19th century, the city was extensively modernized, with new institutions emerging. Between 1891 and 1914 the first permanent bridge over the Danube , the Franz-Josephs-Brücke , was built, the first tram line went into operation and the Hungarian Elisabeth University was founded. Pressburg developed into a center of the Slovak national movement at the end of the 19th century , which, however, discussed until the First World War whether Pressburg was at all part of the claimed land of the Slovaks, since it belonged to Hungary under constitutional law and has been a majority since time immemorial Germans inhabited city.

Belonging to Czechoslovakia between the First and Second World Wars

Bridge watch by soldiers of the Czechoslovak Legions (still in Italian uniforms), 1919

At the end of the First World War , the city became part of Czechoslovakia, newly founded in 1918, by resolution of the Allies and against the will of the population . Around the remaining in Hungary and the integration of Engerau, which was Slovakized in Petržalka in 1919 (see Bratislava bridgehead ), fighting developed in 1919 between the Czechoslovak legions , the Allies on the one hand and local insurgents and the Hungarian government on the other, which resulted in deaths and injuries. Pressburg, which was previously called Prešporok in Slovak , was renamed Bratislava and instead of Martin or Nitra, it was now declared the de facto capital of the Slovak part of Czechoslovakia. The decisive factors were the economic importance, size and location in relation to Bohemia . Many Hungarian residents then left the city. In 1919 the Comenius University was founded instead of the abandoned Royal Hungarian Elisabeth University .

The first Czechoslovak Republic carried out a state-controlled Slovakization of the city, which was characterized by the displacement of German and Hungarian and the influx of Slovaks and Czechs (for more details see population ).

Destroyed Apollo refinery after Allied air raids, September 1944

As a result of the Munich Agreement of September 30, 1938, the German Reich annexed the then independent communities of Petržalka and Devín , which were adjacent to the south and west and both had a German population majority of almost 90 percent.

From October 1938, Bratislava was the seat of the government of the autonomous Slovakia , and from March 14, 1939 the capital of the Slovak state . In 1940 the University of Economics was founded and in 1942 the " Slovak Academy of Sciences " was founded. The Slovak government expelled most of the Jews living in Bratislava to the German Reich. From the end of November 1944 to the end of March 1945 there was a camp for Jewish forced laborers in Engerau - as Petržalka was now called again . After the city had been spared from air raids for a long time after the beginning of World War II , it was bombed by American air forces on June 16, 1944; 157 deaths were the result. Despite late attempts by the Nazi regime to fortify the city as "Fortress Pressburg" against Soviet attacks in the spring of 1945, it was conquered by the Red Army on April 4, 1945 . Many inhabitants of the German ethnic group had been evacuated from the city by the German authorities before the end of the war, the remaining Germans were expelled from their homeland after the end of the war due to the Beneš decrees .

1945 until today

In 1946, Bratislava, now almost exclusively inhabited by Slovaks, expanded after the incorporation of 1944 through further incorporations. Under the dictatorship of the Communist Party , which seized power in February 1948, extensive prefabricated housing estates emerged , especially in Petržalka. After the end of the war, the city was considerably modernized architecturally and economically, sometimes at the expense of the historically grown building fabric. On January 1, 1968, Bratislava was formally declared the capital of Slovakia, which from 1969 was called the Slovak Socialist Republic and was one of the two states within the federal Czechoslovak state. In 1972 further incorporations took place on both sides of the Danube, and the bridge of the Slovak National Uprising was opened as the second Danube bridge.

At the end of 1989 Bratislava was one of the centers of the Velvet Revolution that led to the overthrow of the communist dictatorship. Since January 1, 1993, Bratislava has been the capital of independent Slovakia. The city has experienced an economic boom since the second half of the 20th century, which has been supported by foreign investments since the 1990s. On the one hand there is an expansion of services, on the other hand the importance of industry in the city economy has lost.

In the course of the floods in Central Europe in May / June 2013, the Danube reached its apex on the afternoon of June 6th (record level: 10.34 meters); Despite the water level being higher than during the Danube flood in 2002 , the flood protection system, which has since been developed, has largely protected the city.


Old town with St. Martin's Cathedral

After the formation of the first Czechoslovak Republic, the city received the official Slovak name of Bratislava in 1919. The German name Pressburg or after the old spelling Pressburg exists parallel to it. In German and Austrian diplomacy, the city is officially called Pressburg.


The city was first mentioned as "Brezalauspurc" in the Salzburg Annals (Annales Juvavenses maximi) in connection with the Battle of Pressburg in 907 between Bavaria and Magyars, not far from today's Bratislava castle. Ahd. The castle of a pretzel louse should be meant. At the end of the 9th century, a Carolingian border count (confinii comes), the Croat Brazlav from Sissak, built a fortification here on the border of the Franconian Empire on the Schlossberg, the name of which was then transferred to the market below - a thesis that has meanwhile been adopted by Slovak Slavists is shared. At the end of the 20th century, coin finds from around 1000 appeared with the inscription “Preslav (v) a Civitas”.

The German name developed further to Pressburg (or Pressburg ) and the Slovak name Prešporok / Prešpurek derived from it . Until 1919, most English-speaking authors used the term Pressburg , while Presbourg was common in the French-speaking area . Czech castle and town were called Pre š purk.


Manhole cover with Hungarian inscription

There are different theses for the origin of the Hungarian name Pozsony (first proven in this form in 1773): According to Eberhard Kranzmayer , the name comes from a Franconian or Bavarian named Boso or Puoso, who entered the ford over the Danube under the Burgberg in the early Carolingian period Wehrdorf founded. Otto von Freising later reported about this Bosendorf as castra Bosani , which also appears in Latinized documents in 1146 and 1277 as Bosonium and in 1271 as Bozonium . Of these, the Slovak form is not used, however, in common parlance developed Pozun and the Latin Posonium . Aventinus turned it into a pisonium and ascribed the founding to a legendary Roman prince Piso. The younger castle of the Carolingian border count Brazlav on the castle hill and the therefore older civil settlement of the Franconian or Bavarian Boso were built independently of each other, which explains why the Germans and Hungarians later named the castle and place the same, but differently in the two languages. The Germans transferred the castle name to the market and the Hungarians transferred the market name to the castle.

Jan Stanislav believes he can derive the name from his Slovak Božan , who is said to have been lord of the castle in Pressburg in the 11th century, but is not historically tangible (* Božänjь). Since the personal name does not appear in Slovak, it must have been a southern Slav. Especially in the Renaissance , the Latinized form Posonium and the Greekized form Istropolis (Donaustadt) became common among scholars . The shape of Istropolis comes from the Christianization period in the 9th century (Byzantium).


Johannes Aventinus wrote in the 16th century that the city was rebuilt from a Roman fortress at the beginning of the 9th century by the Moravian fable prince Vratislav (Wratislaus) and was named after this prince Vratislaburgium / Vratissolaoburgium / Wratisslaburgium. He also uses the Latin name Pisonium . The reliability of this information is being challenged today. Pressburg was never a Roman fortress and there is no evidence of a Moravian prince named Vratislav at that time. A Bohemian duke Vratislav founded Breslau in Silesia at a later date (hence the name), but has no connection with Pressburg.

In the 1830s, some Slovak authors used the form "(Tatranská) Vratislava" (e.g. Ján Kollár , 1830) based on the erroneous statements by Aventinus . Bratislava , today's city name, has its origin in 1837, when the scientist Pavel Jozef Šafárik (in: Slovanské starožitnosti, 1837) saw the Slovak form * Bracislaw / * Brecislaw in the form Brecisburg (1042) and mistakenly assumed that the City was founded by the Bohemian King Břetislav. Afterwards, supporters of the Slovak national movement in search of a "more Slavic" name and to discard the historical German and Hungarian place names used the forms Břetislav (Jan Kollár, 1838), Břetislava (Jan Kollár, Ľudovít Štúr , 1838), Breťislava ( Martin Hamuljak , 1838). After the introduction of the new language standard, the variant Braťislava (nad Dunajom) ( Ján Francisci-Rimavský ) appeared in 1843 , with the forms Břetislav and other variants being used again in the second half of the 19th century. However, these names remained limited to small circles of the Slovak national movement. They had neither official meaning nor did they find their way into the general usage of the Slovaks, who kept to the historical Slovak name Prešporok and corresponding variants.

After the end of the First World War , the name Wilsonovo mesto or Wilsonovo (Wilson City) appeared for a short time after the American President Woodrow Wilson (according to some sources, however, this name was used exclusively by Czechoslovak legions in Italy in early 1919 on military maps). The background was the enforcement of national Slovak claims to Pressburg at the peace conference in Paris with the help of a Slavic-sounding place name, since the German and Hungarian place names were seen as endangering the credibility of Slovak demands. With Prešporok, the Slovaks had chosen a city as the capital of their part of the country in which they themselves were clearly in the minority and in which the predominant part of the predominantly German and Hungarian-speaking population rejected the existence of the newly founded Czechoslovakia. On February 22, 1919, the Czechoslovak government officially established the name of art, Bratislava , but changed it on March 16, 1919 in Bratislava , since the ending -av was Czech . The announcement with which the name “Bratislava” became legally effective was made on March 27, 1919 in an official gazette, which itself still had the name “Prešporok” as the location on the front page. At the same time, the new name was declared “untranslatable” and the use of the historical name was made a criminal offense.

Today's naming situation

The name of the city in other languages ​​is no longer a big issue in Slovakia today. However, the artificial name Bratislava, introduced in 1919, is used exclusively in foreign-language publications by Slovak sources and not the historical exonyms that exist in different languages. In the Austrian press, the name Pressburg is increasingly being pushed into the background in the German media. Both embassies in the city continue to operate under the German name Pressburg. In contrast, the Hungarian press and the state of Hungary continue to consistently use the Hungarian name Pozsony in official documents .

In the city itself the historical names are quite present, both companies, especially in the gastronomy and tourism sector, as well as cultural institutions or ensembles like to use them as a local historical flavor. Names with reference to Prešporok and Pressburg are particularly frequent , the name Pozsony, on the other hand, is rarely found, but can still be read here and there on manhole covers from the pre-war period. The name Wilsonovo / Wilsonstadt was also occasionally referenced, for example in a story by the writer Michal Hvorecký and the name of the Wilsonic Festival, which he co-founded.

A common (but slightly derogatory) name in the Slovak colloquial language for the city is Blava , an abbreviation of Bratislava, but at the same time the name of a west Slovak river and a corresponding more derogatory term for the inhabitants of Blaváci , instead of the written demonym Bratislavčania .

Cityscape and architecture

View of the city from the vantage point of the bridge of the Slovak National Uprising: The 360-degree panorama begins in the west with the Most Lafranconi, shows Bratislava Castle and the old town. Further to the right behind the two bridges Stary Most and Most Apollo is the Ružinov district (German Rosenheim). On the right side of the Danube (location) you can see the new buildings of Petržalka (German Engerau) behind the state border with Austria.


Most of the historical buildings are concentrated in the old town (Staré Mesto) .

Old town hall on the main square

The Old Town Hall (Stará radnica) from the 14th / 15th centuries made up of three buildings . Century is one of the oldest preserved houses in the city. Originally laid out as the residence of the judge in the 14th century, the whole complex now extends over formerly adjacent houses and palaces.

The baroque Michaelertor (Michalská brána) is the only surviving of the four gates of the medieval city fortifications, most of which were demolished in the 18th century by decree of Maria Theresa. A section can still be seen north of St. Martin's Cathedral. Immediately next to the Michaelertor is one of the narrowest houses in Europe with a width of 1.30 meters. From 1802 to 1848 the Diet of the Kingdom of Hungary was housed in the palace of the Hungarian Royal Chamber , built in 1756 . Since 1953 the house has been the seat of the university library.

Grassalkovich Palace , residence of the President

Characteristic of the city center are the numerous baroque style palaces , a cultural heritage of the 18th century. The Grassalkovich Palace (Grasalkovičov palác) , built around 1760, is the residence of the President of Slovakia and in the past served Count Antal Grassalkovich I for various balls. In the socialist era it was the pioneer palace.

The neighboring Archbishop's Summer Palace (Letný arcibiskupský palác) , which was built a few years later and served as the summer residence of the Archbishops of Gran, who lived in Bratislava in the 17th and 18th centuries, has been the official seat of the Slovak government since 1991. In 1805 the fourth peace of Pressburg was signed in the Primatialpalais (Primaciálny palác) built in 1781 and now the seat of the mayor . In the gallery there, six English tapestries from the 17th century are on display, telling the story of Hero and Leander from Greek mythology. In the Palais Pálffy (Pálfiho palác) built in 1747 , the then six-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave a concert. From 1995 to 2012 the building housed the Austrian embassy.

Elisabeth Church , (also called "Blue Church") Art Nouveau by Ödön Lechner

One of the most famous sacred buildings is St. Martin's Cathedral (Katedrála svätého Martina) from the 13th to 16th centuries, in which the kings of the Kingdom of Hungary from the House of Habsburg were crowned from 1563 to 1830 . The cathedral was given its current Gothic appearance in 1869–1877. Numerous high-ranking personalities such as members of the Pálffy dynasty or members of the Pressburg county are buried in the catacombs, as well as the author of the first Slovak novel, Jozef Ignác Bajza . On the top of the 85 meter high tower, which was once part of the city fortifications, there is a copy of St. Stephen's Crown . The Sankt Elisabeth Church (Kostol svätej Alžbety) , also known as the “Blue Church” due to the color of the exterior facade, was built entirely in Art Nouveau style in 1907/1908 and is dedicated to Elisabeth of Thuringia . In the Franciscan Church (Františkánsky kostol) from the late 13th century, selected people were knighted during the coronation celebrations. Further sacred buildings in the center are the Gothic Poor Clare Church (Kostol klarisiek) from the 14th century with a five-sided tower (today a concert and theater hall), the Baroque Trinitarian Church (Kostol trinitárov) from the 18th century with the Rococo interior decoration and a synagogue in the Modern style from the years 1923–1926, which is the only one of the three synagogues that has been preserved.

In the inner city center there are two prominent squares: the centrally located main square (Hlavné námestie) , which is surrounded by numerous palaces and town houses as well as the old town hall. Are known the Palais Kutscher field (Kutscherfeldov palác) and the governor Palais (Miestodržiteľský palác) . In the middle of the square is the Maximiliansbrunnen, which was created after a major fire during the coronation of Maximilian II (HRR) in 1563. The square is now the location of various markets, such as B. at Easter or before Christmas, as well as the venue of the New Year's Eve celebration, which is propagated as "party lava". The Hviezdoslav Square (Hviezdoslavovo námestie) lies further to the south and is usually simple promenade called. Noteworthy buildings are the building of the Slovak National Theater, the Reduta , the seat of the Slovak Philharmonic and the classical -looking building of the former Hotel Savoy, today Hotel Carlton. The embassies of the USA and Germany are also located here. The square is dominated by the statue of the namesake, the Slovak poet Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav . In addition to other small bronze statues, there is also one by Hans Christian Andersen .

Among the most photographed attractions in Bratislava are some sculptures created in the last decade of the 20th century: on Rybárska brána street , on the corner with Hlavné námestie street , by Karol Krcmar, the statue of Ignác Lamárs (1997), who is called the beautiful Náci famous city ​​original of Bratislava, at the intersection Rybárska brána / Laurinská by Viktor Hulík the Čumil (in German: Gucker), also created in 1997 , a worker “peeping” from a manhole cover below a warning sign “Man at work”, and the sculpture Paparazzi ( 2001) by Radko Mačuha on the corner of Laurinská and Radničná , which has been in the UFO tower restaurant since 2018.

A curiosity is the restored part of the underground, originally ground-level Jewish cemetery. This is located at the foot of the castle hill near the portal of the tram tunnel. Today it houses the mausoleum of Moses Sofer , a place of pilgrimage for Jews from all over the world. The only military cemetery is Slavín , located on a hill west of the old town . It was inaugurated in 1960 in honor of the soldiers of the Red Army and has a 39.5 meter high obelisk. This cemetery is also a good vantage point.

In the western part of the Staré Mesto district there is a large residential area and covers a large part of the hills above Palisády Street, around Horský park and Slavín to the Patrónka district.

Modern architecture

Veľký Baťa functionalist department store

In the city you can find architecture of the functionalist tendencies that were prevalent in the first Czechoslovak Republic. The Umelecká beseda slovenská building from 1925 on Dostojevského rad street and the Lafranconi dormitory on the banks of the Danube are among the first buildings in this style . Modern architecture was not able to gain acceptance until 1930. The focus on housing was reflected in projects such as Unitas on Šancová Street and Nová doba on Vajnorská Street. Along the Square of the Slovak National Uprising there are good examples of modernist architecture, such as the Družstevné domy , the former Dunaj department store and the Baťa department store (also Veľký Baťa, now known as Alizé). Not far from there is the first skyscraper in Bratislava, which is known colloquially as Manderlák after the client, Rudolf Manderla, and which has become the dominant feature of the time. The Church of the Exaltation of the Cross at Daliborovo námestie in the then independent town of Petržalka is an example of sacred architecture from this period. Prominent architects were Milan Michal Harminc , Emil Belluš , Friedrich Weinwurm and Ignác Vécsei .

Slovak National Archives

The New Town Hall on Primaciálne námestie opposite the historic Primate's Palace dates from the immediate post-war period . A good example of socialist realism is the Mladá garda student residence on Račianska street. In the center of the city is the Prior department store (now My Bratislava), built in the 1960s and 1970s, with the Hotel Kyjev on Kamenné námestie Square . The crematorium with urn grove between Lamač and Záhorská Bystrica is considered one of the best examples of post-war Slovak architecture.

Other important structures from the 20th century are the bridge of the Slovak National Uprising (Most SNP) with a disc-shaped restaurant on the pylon at a height of 85 meters, the headquarters of the Slovak radio , which resembles an inverted pyramid, and the 200-meter-high Kamzík TV tower with a viewing platform , the Istropolis Trade Union House, the New Market Hall on Trnavské mýto Square and the Slovak television tower from 1975, which was the tallest building in Czechoslovakia at the time.

The architect Vladimír Dedeček had his main activity in Bratislava and realized projects such as the student residence in Mlynská dolina , the modern extension of the Slovak National Gallery , the Incheba exhibition center and the buildings of the Supreme Court of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak National Archives .

Residential buildings were mainly built in the districts of Staré Mesto, Nové Mesto and Ružinov in the 1930s to 1950s. From the 1960s to the 1980s, a large number of prefabricated residential buildings were erected in Bratislava : in the 1960s these were the districts of Ružinov, Rača, Karlova Ves and Nové Mesto, in the 1970s Dúbravka, Rača, Lamač, Podunajské Biskupice and Petržalka and in the 1980s Rača, Ružinov, Karlova Ves (in the Dlhé diely district), Vrakuňa, Devínska Nová Ves and Petržalka. Since then, mainly smaller residential building projects and roof extensions have been carried out in the existing settlements. Family houses are mainly located in the districts further from the city center such as Vajnory, Záhorská Bystrica, Jarovce, Rusovce, Čunovo, Devín and, in some cases, Podunajské Biskupice, Vrakuňa and Devínska Nová Ves.

Modern Eurovea shopping center

Since the Velvet Revolution, structures such as the Apollo Bridge and the new building of the Slovak National Theater have changed the cityscape. Since independence there has been a lot of construction activity that has changed the cityscape. As one of the first projects, the new headquarters of the Slovak bank VÚB was completed in 1997 , followed in 2002 by the new building of the National Bank of Slovakia , which at 111 meters was the tallest building in Bratislava by 2019. A remarkable example of the modern development in the further center is the conversion of the old industrial quarter ( brownfield ) around Mlynské nivy east of the city center into a high-rise district with projects such as Eurovea , Twin City, Panorama City, Sky Park and Tower 115 At 125 meters, since 2019 the tallest building in Bratislava, the Nivy Tower. The plan is to build the first “real” skyscraper in Slovakia, the Eurovea Tower, which will be 168 meters high.

The multi-purpose River Park project was also built on the banks of the Danube . Other new city districts are emerging “on the green field” , such as Južné mesto and Slnečnice on the southern edge of Petržalka or Bory on the edge of Dúbravka and Lamač. However, the lively construction activity is perceived by some of the residents and architects as “uncoordinated or aggressive”. This particularly affected industrial buildings, which, with a few exceptions, had to give way to new buildings after the decline in industry in inner-city areas in the 2000s and partly in the 2010s. The reasons given for the development are economic interests and a weak awareness of protecting industrial architecture . In the meantime, however, there are also examples that use industrial buildings, such as the spinning mill building of the old thread factory, or the former thermal power station by the architect Dušan Jurkovič .

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle at night

A landmark of the city is the Bratislava Castle (Bratislavský hrad) west of the old town on a rock 85 meters above the Danube. The castle hill was already inhabited by members of the Baden culture during the Copper Age. Later it served as the location of an oppidum of the Celtic Boier , as part of the Roman Danube Limes . It was the core of a fortified Slavic settlement and later an important center of the Great Moravian Empire . The first stone castle existed here as early as the 10th century. Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg had the castle expanded into a fortress in the Gothic style around 1430 . Emperor Ferdinand I ordered the renovation in the Renaissance style. Around 1650 the castle got its current baroque appearance. Empress Maria Theresa made the castle her Hungarian residence in 1740. In May 1811 the castle burned to the ground. For more than 140 years the ruins stood over the city. From 1953 to 1968 the castle was rebuilt true to the original. Since the end of the 20th century it has served as a museum and for representative purposes.

Bratislava Castle - Panorama

Devín Castle

Devín Castle

The ruins of Devín Castle (Devínsky hrad) are located in the Devín district on a rock above the mouth of the March and Danube on the Slovak-Austrian border. Due to its strategic location, Devín was an important border fortification of the Great Moravian Empire and the early Hungarian state. The castle was blown up by Napoleonic troops in 1809 , but subsequently developed into an important symbol of Slovak national consciousness. Today it is one of the most important archaeological sites in the country and part of an open-air museum .


The Karlburg Castle (Rusovský kaštieľ) with its English landscape park is located in the Rusovce district south of the center . The building was built in the 16th century and was converted into a neo-Gothic country house in the English style in 1841–1844 . Rusovce is also known as the site of the ruins of the Roman fort Gerulata , which was occupied from the 1st to 4th centuries and formed part of the Danube Limes.

Parks and lakes

Janko Kráľ Park in Petržalka, one of the oldest public parks in Europe

Due to its location at the foot of the Little Carpathians and its proximity to the floodplain landscape on the Danube, Bratislava has forests that extend almost into the city center. The largest city park is the Horský park (German: Gebirgspark ) in the old town. The Bratislavský lesný park (German: Pressburger Forest Park ) is a popular destination in the Little Carpathians. It covers an area of ​​27.3 km² (96 percent of which is forested) and has a lot of original fauna and flora such as badgers , red foxes and European mouflons . On the right bank of the Danube, in Petržalka , is the Janko Kráľ Park (Sad Janka Kráľa) , which was laid out between 1774 and 1776 and is one of the oldest public parks in Europe. A new city park is planned in Petržalka between the Malý Draždiak and Veľký Draždiak lakes.

The Zoological Garden (Bratislavská zoologická záhrada) is located in Mlynská dolina (Mill Valley), near the headquarters of the Slovak TV . The zoo, founded in 1960, shows more than 150 animal species. The botanical garden on the banks of the Danube operated by the Comenius University has more than 120 native and exotic plant varieties.

There are numerous natural and man-made lakes in the urban area, most of which are publicly accessible recreational areas. Examples are the Štrkovec (Stierau) in Ružinov , the Kuchajda (cow heather) in Nové Mesto , Zlaté piesky and the Vajnory lakes in the northeast and several lakes in Rusovce in the south.

A curiosity is the sand mountain in Devínska Nová Ves ; it is formed by the rock remnants of the Tertiary Sea and is a site of various fossils of marine life.


There are around 35 cemeteries in the city, in addition to the Slavín cemeteries and the Chatam Sofer mausoleum mentioned above, these include the Andrew Cemetery , Gaistor Cemetery , Slávičie údolie Cemetery and the crematorium and urn grove between Lamač and Záhorská Bystrica. There is a German military cemetery in the Vrakuňa cemetery, where around 980 German soldiers are buried.


Population development until 1945
year Residents Remarks
1815 34,403 including 26,663 Catholics, 5,026 Evangelicals, 15 Reformed , one Greek Orthodox Catholic and 2,698 Jews
1830 32,026 (excluding the suburb of Blumenthal with 6,360 inhabitants) mostly Germans, a few Slovaks and Hungarians (2,710 Jews)
1852 36,742 thereof 30,682 Germans (84%), 3,713 Slovaks (10%), 2,266 Hungarians (6%)
1880 48.006 thereof 31,492 Germans (66%), 7,537 Hungarians (16%), 5,521 Slovaks (11%)
1901 65,867 thereof 33,202 Germans, 20,102 Hungarians and 10,715 Slovaks (Catholics and Protestants, 7,110 Israelites)
Population numbers
year Residents year Residents
1450 (5,000) 1921 93,200
1720 (11,000) 1930 123,800
1786 31,700 1939 138,500
1802 29,600 1950 184,400
1820 34,400 1961 241,800
1846 40,200 1970 291,100
1869 46,500 1980 380,300
1890 52,400 1991 442.197
1900 61,500 1996 452.288
1910 78,200 2001 428,672

According to the 2011 census, the city had 411,228 inhabitants (2001 census: 428,672 inhabitants). The average population density was 1,118.5 inh / km². The most populous of the five districts is Bratislava V with 111,135 inhabitants (2001: 121,259), followed by Bratislava II with 108,362 (2001: 108,139), Bratislava IV with 92,030 (2001: 93,058), Bratislava III with 61,046 (2001: 61,418) and Bratislava I with 38,655 (2001: 44,798).


The largest ethnic group is the Slovaks with 373,568 inhabitants (90.84 percent, 2001: 391,767), followed by Magyars with 14,119 (3.43 percent, 2001: 16,541), Czechs with 5,445 (1.32 percent, 2001: 7,972) and Germans with 963 (0.23 percent, 2001: 1,200). Other ethnic groups are Moravians (783 inh., 2001: 635 in.), Russians (747 in., 2001: 461 in.), Croats (649 in., 2001: 614 in.), Ukrainians (454 in., 2001 : 452 inh.), Russians (446 in., 2001: 399 in.) Poles (404 in., 2001: 339 in.), Roma (370 in., 2001: 417 in.) And Bulgarians (368 in., 2001: 475 pop). The ethnic group could not be determined for 10,016 inhabitants (2001: 5,680).


According to the 2011 census, 214,341 inhabitants (52.12 percent, 2001: 243,048) were Roman Catholics , 21,744 (5.29 percent, 2001: 24,810) were Lutherans , 3,736 (0.91 percent, 2001: 3,163) were Greek Catholics , 1,863 Orthodox (2001: 1,616), 1,828 Calvinists (2001: 1,918), 1,413 Jehovah's Witnesses (2001: 1,827), 597 Jews (2001: 748), 1,046 Methodists (2001: 737) and 572 Baptists (2001: 613); 5,054 inhabitants were of a different denomination not included in the statistics (2001: 1,488). 126,799 inhabitants (30.83 percent, 2001: 125,712) described themselves as atheists and no information is available for 28,891 inhabitants (7.03 percent) (2001: 20,174).

The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bratislava (until 2008 Bratislava-Trnava), of whose ten deaneries three are in the city area. Martin's Cathedral serves as the cathedral; the current archbishop is Stanislav Zvolenský . There is also the Slovak Military Ordinary with its seat in the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in Rača. A total of 42 churches are available to Roman Catholic believers.

The Evangelical Church AB is the second most represented church in the city. Seven churches are intended for the almost 22,000 believers.

see also article → German Evangelical Church Community AB zu Preßburg

The Greek Catholic Church is represented by the Bratislava eparchy , although the estimated number of believers in western and central Slovakia (the area of ​​the eparchy) is only 25,000. The cathedral is the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in the old town.

The symbolic representation of the demolished Neolog Synagogue by Peter Zalman and Lucia Zalmanova, 1996, on the Fish Square (Rybné námestie) in Bratislava

The Judaism has declined sharply over the last 75 years, especially through the persecution under the Nazis . Of the almost 15,000 relatives in 1938, only about 750 remain today. The only remaining synagogue is one in the modern style (1926) on Heydukova Street. The Orthodox and Neolog synagogues were demolished in 1961 and 1969, respectively.

Today there is a Holocaust memorial by Peter Zalman and Lucia Zalmanova (1996) on the site of the Neolog Synagogue (Neologická synagóga in Slovak), which was demolished after the war, near St. Martin's Cathedral, on Fish Square (Rybné námestie). The memorial consists of a sculpture and a symbolic image of the synagogue on a reflective marble wall.

In contrast to the Western European capitals, Islam is not very recognizable. As in the rest of Slovakia, there is no mosque in Bratislava.

History of the inhabitants

In the early Middle Ages there was a village populated by Slavs on the site of today's Bratislava. From the 10th century, Magyar residents and, above all, a Magyar aristocratic upper class came and the place developed into a city. After the destruction by the Mongol storm, the city had to be repopulated. For this purpose, German-speaking colonists were settled from Austria, Bohemia and southern Germany, whereby the Germans in the city became the dominant ethnic group and remained throughout modern times, well into the 19th century. After the Battle of Mohács in 1526, other Magyar residents joined them and fled from the Turks to the safe north-west of Hungary. At the same time the Jews were forbidden to stay in the city, which is why they settled in surrounding villages or moved further east.

However, reliable data on the ethnic composition of the city citizens do not come from the 19th century, when it was less social class or denomination than national sentiments that became important. According to the census of 1850/51, Bratislava had 42,238 inhabitants. Of these, 31,509 (74.59 percent) were Germans, 7,586 (17.9 percent) Slovaks and 3,154 (7.4 percent) Magyars. After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, intensive Magyarization began, promoted by the Hungarian government . In 1890 there were 52,441 inhabitants, of which 31,404 (59.9 percent) Germans, 10,433 (19.9 percent) Magyars and 8,709 (16.6 percent) Slovaks. Immediately after the founding of Czechoslovakia in August 1919, 36 percent Germans, 33 percent Slovaks, 29 percent Magyars and 1.7 percent others were counted. In 1930, 25 percent of Germans, 33 percent of Slovaks, 23 percent of Czechs, 16 percent of Magyars and 3.833 percent of Jews lived in the city. The population structure had changed mainly due to the arrival of Czechs; In addition, Jews were now recorded separately who had previously declared themselves either German or Magyar based on their language. The establishment of the Slovak State in 1939 resulted in the expulsion of many Czechs. The Slovak Jews were deported and murdered between 1942 and 1944. Before the end of the war, most of the German residents were evacuated by the German authorities. The few remaining German residents, some of them Hungarian, were later expelled on the basis of the Beneš decrees . As a result, the city lost its multilingual and multicultural character. Since the 1950s, the Slovaks have been the dominant ethnic group with a share of over 90 percent. After the Velvet Revolution of 1989/90 and the fall of the Iron Curtain , the German language regained importance due to the city's location on the language border, but also for economic and tourist reasons.

Politics and administration

Seat of the National Council of the Slovak Republic near Bratislava Castle

State institutions

The city is the seat of the National Council of the Slovak Republic (Národná rada Slovenskej republiky) , the President , the ministries, the Supreme Court (Najvyšší súd) and the National Bank of Slovakia (Národná banka Slovenska) . Bratislava is the capital of the Bratislavský kraj regional association with 669,592 inhabitants and the seat of numerous diplomatic missions .

City administration

The current structure of the city administration has existed since 1990. It consists of the mayor (primátor) , the city council (Mestská rada) , the city council (Mestské zastupiteľstvo) , the city council commissions (Komisie mestského zastupiteľstva) and the magistrate (Magistrát) .

The mayor is the supreme body of the executive , resides in the Primatialpalais and is elected for a four-year term. The incumbent mayor is Matúš Vallo , who was elected as an independent candidate for the first time in November 2018 (with the support of PS-Spolu) and prevailed against Ivo Nesrovnal , who had previously been incumbent since 2014 .

The city council is the city's legislature . It usually meets once a month and consists of 45 members who are elected for four years. Numerous tasks of the legislature are carried out on their behalf by the commissions of the city council. The 28-member city council consists of the mayor and his deputies, the heads of the individual districts and up to ten members of the city council. The city council is on the one hand the supervisory body of the city council and on the other hand the mayor's advisory body.

Allocation of seats in the city council

The Primatialpalais , seat of the Lord Mayor
Magistrate building (New Town Hall)

In the local elections on November 10, 2018, 45 seats were up for grabs, which went to three relatively even blocks. The independent MPs received a total of 17 mandates, the coalition OĽaNO-SaS-SR-KDH-OKS-NOVA-Zmena zdola, DÚ has 15 and the coalition PS-Spolu 13.

Election results from 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 (since 2010: 45 MPs, 2006: 80 MPs):

Party / coalition 2018 Party / coalition 2014 Party / coalition 2010 Party / coalition 2006
Independent 17th Most-HID SIET -sas-SDKÚ-DS 14th KDH - Most – Híd - OKS - SaS - SDKÚ – DS 30th KDH-SDKÚ – DS 57
OĽaNO-SaS- SR -KDH-OKS-NOVA-Zmena zdola, DÚ 15th Independent 12 HZD - SF - SNS -SF- SMER - SZS 8th ĽS – HZDS -SF-SMER- SMK – MKP -SZ 9
PS - Spolu 13 KDS-KDH-NOVA-OKS- OĽaNO -SMK – MKP-Zmena zdola, DÚ 11 Independent 3 NF 6th
- - SNS-Smer-SZS 6th SZ (The Greens) 2 Independent 3
- - EDS 1 DS - DÚS 1 SNS 2
- - - - - - DÚS 1

City structure

Administratively, Bratislava is divided into five districts ( okresy ) : Bratislava I in the city center, Bratislava II in the east, Bratislava III in the northeast, Bratislava IV in the west and north and Bratislava V, which is dominated by prefabricated buildings, in the south on the right side of the Danube. The self-government is divided into 17 districts (mestské časti), each of which has its own mayor and local council (miestne zastupiteľstvo) . The size of the local representation depends on the size and population of the district. Each of the districts corresponds to one of the 20 cadastral municipalities (katastrálne územie) , but there are two exceptions: Nové Mesto is further divided into the cadastral municipalities of Nové Mesto and Vinohrady, while Ružinov is further divided into Ružinov, Nivy and Trnávka.

The following is a list of the five districts and 17 districts (German designation in brackets, if available or known):

Districts of Bratislava
Okres district Further subdivision map
Bratislava I Staré Mesto (old town) - Map with the districts and districts of Bratislava
Bratislava II Ružinov (Rosenheim) Nivy (Mühlau) , Ostredky, Pošeň (Poschen) , Prievoz ( upper bank ) , Trávniky, Štrkovec (Stierau) , Vlčie hrdlo (wolf trunk) , Trnávka (Dornkappel)
Vrakuňa (Fragendorf) Dolné hony
Podunajské Biskupice (Bishop's Village) Dolné hony, Ketelec, Lieskovec, Medzi jarkami
Bratislava III Nové Mesto (New Town) Ahoj (Rössler) , Jurajov dvor (Georgshof) , Koliba (straw hut) , Kramáre (Kramer Berg) , Mierová kolónia, Pasienky / Kuchajda (cow pastures, cow hides) , Vinohrady (vineyards)
Rača (Ratzersdorf) Krasňany, Rača (Ratzersdorf) , Východné
Vajnory (Weinern) -
Bratislava IV Karlova Ves (Karlsdorf) Dlhé diely (Langetheile) , Kútiky, Mlynská dolina (Mühltal) , Rovnice
Dúbravka (Kaltenbrunn, Kaltendörfl) Podvornice, Záluhy, Krčace
Lamač (Blumenau, Lamatsch) Podháj (Hay, Raagers Hauffen) , Rázsochy
Devín (Thebes) -
Devínska Nová Ves (Theben-Neudorf) Devínske Jazero (Thebensee) , Kostolné, Podhorské, Paulinské, Sídlisko Stred, Vápenka
Záhorská Bystrica (Bisternitz) -
Bratislava V Petržalka (Engerau) Dvory, Háje, Janíkov dvor (Antonienhof) , Lúky, Ovsište (Habern) , Kopčany (Kittsee) , Zrkadlový háj (Spiegelhagen) , Starý háj (Alte Au)
Jarovce (Croatian-Jahrndorf, Horvát-Járfalu) -
Rusovce (Karlburg, Oroszvár) -
Čunovo (Sarndorf, Dunacsún) -


The symbols of Bratislava are the coat of arms , the flag and the seal . The coat of arms has been in use since 1436, when Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg granted the city the right to use its own coat of arms.

Description of coat of arms

"In the red shield a silver castle with three red-roofed towers, each with two pointed golden knobs, the gate with a half-open golden portcullis."


Contrary to popular belief, the coat of arms shows neither Bratislava Castle nor one of the four former medieval city gates. Rather, it is simply a symbolic representation of a medieval city.

Flag description

The flag is a double stand , the incision of which extends up to a third of the length, consisting of two horizontal stripes of equal width, white above, red below. The ratio of height to length is 2: 3.

Seal description

The seal shows the city's coat of arms and the inscription “pečať mesta Bratislavy” (seal of the city of Bratislava) in Slovak and Latin.


In addition to the city coat of arms, the logo introduced in 2004 is also used for marketing purposes, which stylized represents the Bratislava Castle and the Danube.

Twin cities

On July 18, 1962, Bratislava signed the first international bilateral partnership agreement with Perugia, the capital of the Italian province of Umbria.

In 2015, the city administration listed 31 twin cities on its website  . Further collaborations are described in a brochure published in 2009.

city country Contractual basis since active
Alexandria EgyptEgypt Egypt Agreement of friendship and cooperation 1974 No
Bremen GermanyGermany Germany Framework partnership agreement 1989 No
Brno Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic Cooperation agreement 2012 Yes
Budapest HungaryHungary Hungary no Yes
Cleveland United StatesUnited States Ohio, USA Declaration of respect "Sister Cities" 1990 Yes
Dublin IrelandIreland Ireland Protocol of friendship 2005 No
Yerevan ArmeniaArmenia Armenia Cooperation agreement 2000 No
Ho Chi Minh City VietnamVietnam Vietnam Agreement on building and developing partnership relationships 1984 No
Jerusalem IsraelIsrael Israel Protocol on cultural exchange 1995 No
Karlsruhe GermanyGermany Germany no Yes
Kiev UkraineUkraine Ukraine Družobná agreement on cooperation and friendship 1969 No
Copenhagen DenmarkDenmark Denmark no Yes
Kraków PolandPoland Poland Cooperation agreement 1974 yes, renewed in 2003
Larnaka Cyprus RepublicRepublic of Cyprus Cyprus Follow-up partnership agreement 1989 No
Ljubljana SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia Agreement on friendship 1967 yes, renewed in 2002
Maribor SloveniaSlovenia Slovenia Protocol on the objectives of the cooperation 1992 No
Moscow RussiaRussia Russia Memorandum on friendly relations and cooperation 1999 Yes
Namur BelgiumBelgium Belgium Cooperation agreement 1992 No
Perugia ItalyItaly Italy Protocol of friendship and cooperation 1962 Yes
Portland United StatesUnited States Oregon, USA Declaration of cooperation 1992 No
Prague Czech RepublicCzech Republic Czech Republic no Yes
Riga LatviaLatvia Latvia no 2004 no, after joining the EU
Rotterdam NetherlandsNetherlands Netherlands Cooperation agreement 1993 No
Russian BulgariaBulgaria Bulgaria Cooperation agreement 1971 No
Strasbourg FranceFrance France no 2004 no, after joining the EU
Székesfehérvár HungaryHungary Hungary Convention 1989 No
Tallinn EstoniaEstonia Estonia no Yes
Thessaloniki GreeceGreece Greece Cooperation agreement 1986 Yes
Turku FinlandFinland Finland Cooperation agreement 1976 No
Ulm GermanyGermany Germany Cooperation agreement, Danube partnership 2003 Yes
Vilnius LithuaniaLithuania Lithuania no 2004 no, after joining the EU
Warsaw PolandPoland Poland no Yes
Vienna AustriaAustria Austria Cooperation agreement between the Twin City cities 1993 yes, renewed in 2003, 2010
Zagreb CroatiaCroatia Croatia no Yes


High-rise buildings in the Nivy district

The Bratislavský kraj is the wealthiest and economically most prosperous region of Slovakia. Although it is the smallest of all eight regions and has the second fewest inhabitants, it generates more than 28 percent of Slovakia's gross domestic product (GDP) (as of 2018). The GDP per capita ( purchasing power parity ) was € 52,300 in 2018, 173 percent of the EU -27 average.

In December 2019, the recorded unemployment rate in Bratislava and the surrounding area was 2.83 percent, and the average gross wage in 2018 was € 1,445 (Slovak average: € 1,092). Many government institutions and private companies have their headquarters in Bratislava. More than 85 percent of the workforce is employed in the service sector (including construction), which is mainly made up of trade, banks, information technology , telecommunications and tourism. The secondary sector makes up around 14 percent. The most important branches are the automotive and chemical industries, followed by the mechanical engineering, food and electrotechnical industries. The primary sector had to stand in 2018 only accounted for 0.5 percent.

Volkswagen Slovakia , a subsidiary of the automobile manufacturer Volkswagen , has been operating the Volkswagen plant in Bratislava since 1991 . The site is located northeast of Devínska Nová Ves, not far from the motorway towards Prague. Production focuses on the manufacture of sport utility vehicles and transmissions. The VW Touareg , the Audi Q7 and the Audi Q8 are manufactured in Bratislava, and in some cases the Porsche Cayenne (body). In addition, the VW up! , the VW e-up! , the Škoda Citigo and the Seat Mii are manufactured in the factory. More than 5.5 million vehicles have been manufactured since it went into operation in 1991, and 377,750 vehicles were manufactured in 2019.

Slovnaft Oil Refinery

The company Slovnaft , a subsidiary of the Hungarian group MOL , operates a large oil refinery in the Ružinov district in the Vlčie hrdlo district and produces plastics and, since 2018, fertilizer. According to the company, the refinery processes around 5.5 to 6 million tons of crude oil annually, which is delivered via the Druzhba pipeline from Russia and the Adriatic pipeline from Croatia. As of 2016, only Sulfenax, a vulcanization accelerator , was produced in the area of ​​the once important Istrochem chemical plant (previously Dynamit-Nobel or Dynamitka , later Dimitrovka ) in the Trnávka district . Before that, the factory produced explosives, synthetic fibers, fertilizers, ammunition and chemicals for the rubber industry. The Figaro confectionery factory on Račianska Street was founded in 1895 as a branch of the German manufacturer Stollwerck and has been part of the Mondelēz International Group since 2012 . Other branches of industry, such as the textile industry ( twist factory , Danubius cotton factory ) or individual factories such as the Kablo cable factory , Stein brewery , BEZ electrical engineering factory or the Matador rubber factory , ceased operations in the 1990s and 2000s.

At the beginning of the 21st century, service and high-tech companies in particular are experiencing an upswing. Numerous global corporations, including Accenture , AT&T , Dell , HP , IBM , Lenovo and SAP, have opened service centers in Bratislava or are planning to do so in the near future. Reasons for the increased influx of multinational companies include the proximity to the Western European markets, well-trained employees and the high density of universities and research institutions. Examples of other large companies based in Bratislava are Amazon , Doprastav , Henkel Slovensko , Hewlett-Packard Slovakia , Orange Slovensko , Slovak Telekom , Slovenská sporiteľňa , Slovenský plynárenský priemysel , Tatra Banka , Tesco Slovakia , Telefónica O 2 Slovakia , Whirlpool Slovakia and Železnice Slovens . The globally active Slovak IT companies ESET and Sygic have their headquarters in Bratislava.

In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Bratislava took 80th place out of 231 cities worldwide in 2018. However, the cost of living is rising, especially rents, so that many employees have to move to the surrounding area (including Burgenland) to live.


Docking point for the Twin City Liner on the Danube

Tourism is an important industry. In 2017, Bratislava had 153 commercial accommodation options with a capacity of 16,737 beds, including four five-star hotels. In 2019 about 2.85 million overnight stays were recorded and the city was visited by almost 1.4 million visitors in the same year. Another approx. 435,000 overnight stays came through platforms such as Airbnb . A significant, not quantifiable proportion of visitors are day tourists, mostly in connection with a bus or boat trip along the Danube. The largest proportion of foreign visitors in 2018 came from the Czech Republic , Germany , Austria , the United Kingdom , the People's Republic of China , Poland , Italy , the USA , France , the Ukraine and Russia .

Among other factors, the establishment of low-cost airlines (especially Ryanair ) in Bratislava is contributing to the fact that visitors from Great Britain are increasingly holding stag parties here . These make up a noticeable part of the tourism industry, but cultural differences and alcohol-induced vandalism sometimes meet with little understanding.

Medical tourism

Medical tourism also plays an important role in Bratislava. Over 3,000 patients a year come for eye operations alone. As the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava is an attractive destination for patients from Austria , particularly due to its convenient proximity to Austria's capital Vienna . But Bratislava can also be easily reached from other countries via the Vienna-Schwechat airport and is therefore well attended for the purpose of medical tourism. Bratislava is attractive with its numerous clinics, which offer German-speaking service, due to low costs and a high standard, especially in the areas of eye surgery, breast surgery and dental treatment.



Bratislava was built at the point where the Amber Road and the Danube , two of the most important transport routes in Central Europe, once crossed, and in an area that allows passage between the higher regions of the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains . Today the city is an important hub for road, rail and air traffic, as well as for shipping.

Road traffic

The D1 motorway in Petržalka
Šancová street in the city center

The city is the starting point for several motorways. The D1 motorway ( E 58 , E 75 ) leads east to Trnava and Žilina (extension to Košice partially completed), while the D2 ( E 65 ) motorway connects Bratislava with Prague , Brno and Budapest . The D4 ring road has so far only been implemented in two small parts. A 32 km long section of the R7 expressway towards Dunajská Streda and a 27 km long section of the D4 ring road from Jarovce to Rača are to be built by 2021 as part of a PPP project . In the distant future, a new construction of the R1 towards Nitra is planned. Motorway connections across the national border are the Austrian A6 in the direction of Vienna , which opened on November 19, 2007, and the Hungarian M15 , which was released as a single-lane expressway in 1998 and expanded to a motorway at the end of 2019.

In the urban area of ​​Bratislava (for the routes Bratislava-Petržalka to Bratislava-Vajnory on the D1 and Bratislava-Lamač to Bratislava-Jarovce on the D2), the use of motorways is exempt from the Slovak vignette toll, but this does not apply to the cross-border routes to Austria and Hungary.

The street system of Bratislava consists of the inner and middle traffic ring, an outer half-ring in the east of the city and six radials. These are, starting in the north and clockwise: 1st order street 2 towards Malacky , 2nd order street 502 towards Pezinok , 1st order 61 towards Senec , 1st order 63 towards Šamorín , 1st order 2 towards Mosonmagyaróvár / Hungary and road 1st order 61 towards Vienna / Austria. The city has 55 km of highways, 65 km of 1st order roads, 33 km of 2nd order roads, 15 km of 3rd order roads and almost 700 km of local roads. The proportion of automobile traffic in commuters is more than 50 percent, so the city is struggling with congested streets and a lack of parking spaces. The busiest street is the Hafenbrücke with more than 100,000 vehicles per 24 hours, other Danube bridges, motorways in the city area and inner-city streets in the center and in eastern parts of the city are also heavily used. A uniform parking policy was approved by the city parliament in 2019 and is to apply from 2021.

The former main bus station east of the old town on Mlynské nivy street was demolished in 2018 to make way for the new Stanica Nivy bus station . This is scheduled to open in spring 2021 after the original date in autumn 2020 was dropped due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic . For the construction period, the provisional Bottova bus station was set up next door and offers regional, long-distance and international bus connections.


Night shot of the Apollo Bridge

Five road bridges cross the Danube in the urban area, two of which are motorway bridges. These are (seen in the direction of flow) the Lafranconi Bridge (Most Lafranconi) , the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising (Most SNP) , Old Bridge (Starý most) , the Apollo Bridge (Most Apollo) and the Port Bridge (Prístavný most) . The old bridge is used exclusively for tram and pedestrian traffic, while the latter is designed as a combined motorway and railway bridge. Another bridge, the Rusovce Bridge (Rusovský most) , is to be built by 2021 as part of the construction of the D4 ring road.

Local public transport

Tram of the DPB

Local public transport , which has existed since 1895, is operated by the municipal transport company Dopravný podnik Bratislava (DPB). The line network consists of 78  bus lines , 13  trolleybus lines and 9  tram lines (gauge 1000 millimeters, network length 42.7 kilometers), which covers the entire city, the municipality of Chorvátsky Grob , the Hungarian Rajka and the Austrian municipalities of Wolfsthal and Hainburg an der Donau . Night traffic is handled by 17 bus lines and 3 tram lines (as of 2017). The tram lines connect the city center radially with the districts of Karlova Ves, Dúbravka, Nové Mesto, Rača, Ružinov and Petržalka. The trolleybus lines are mainly represented in eastern parts of the city as well as in hilly parts of the city. A 792 meter long tram tunnel (former road tunnel) under the castle hill has been in operation since 1983 . At the end of the 1980s, construction began on an underground line that should have led from the main train station to Petržalka south of the Danube. After the "turnaround" in 1989 , the project was abandoned for financial reasons. However, the tram network from the left bank of the Danube to Petržalka is to be extended in the form of an "express tram" for the most part on the same route. The first section was released in 2016, an extension to the southern edge of Petržalka is still being planned.

Since 2013, the tariff system of the urban transport company DPB has been adapted to that of the transport association system called Integrovaný dopravný systém v Bratislavskom kraji (IDS BK for short, literally Integrated Transport System in Bratislavský kraj). In addition to urban public transport, this also includes regional bus routes operated by the operator Slovak Lines, as as well as local and REX trains operated by the Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko (ZSSK) and Regiojet railway companies and, since November 1, 2015, it has covered the entire area of ​​Bratislavský kraj and some neighboring communities .


Entrance to the main train station

Bratislava is the junction of several main railway lines. The lines from Kúty and the Czech Republic , Žilina , Budapest , Komárno , Hegyeshalom , Vienna (via Kittsee) and Vienna (via Marchegg) lead into the city from the north . Until the 1980s, the railway ran from Petržalka through the Old Bridge along the old town boundary, but since then it has made a large loop east of the densely built-up area and only crosses the river downstream at the port area. Trains run from the main train station ( Bratislava hlavná stanica ) north of the old town to Košice, Prague, Budapest and Vienna. There is also a connection to Vienna and a regional connection to Hungary from the Bratislava-Petržalka train station south of the Danube. The Bratislava-Vinohrady stop and the Bratislava-Nové Mesto train station are also served by some domestic connections. The direct rail connection to the Austrian capital, the Pressburger Bahn , has been interrupted from the Austrian town of Wolfsthal since 1945 . A bus line from Bratislava reaches there today.

Railway lines in Bratislavský kraj have been integrated into the IDS BK suburban train system since 2013 . In addition to the above-mentioned stations, local and regional express trains also serve the stations Devínska Nové Ves, Bratislava-Lamač, Bratislava predmestie, Bratislava-Rača, Bratislava východ, Bratislava-Vajnory, Bratislava-Podunajské Biskupice and Rusovce as well as the stations Devínske jazero, Železná studienka and Vrakuňa. The Bratislava-ÚNS station (short for ústredná nákladná stanica , German Central Goods Station ) is not served by passenger trains.

The train route from Paris via Stuttgart (see Stuttgart 21 ) and Bratislava to Budapest is a project of the main line for Europe .

Air traffic

Terminal of Bratislava Airport

The Bratislava's MR Stefanik Airport , the largest airport in Slovakia, located nine kilometers northeast of the city center. It is an important pivot in the network of the discount airline Ryanair . This importance is underlined by regular bus connections to Vienna. In 2018, 2,292,712 passengers were handled. Vienna International Airport, 50 kilometers to the west, is used for long-haul flights or when there are no destinations . Who in his last years of general aviation serving vajnory airport has been closed since of 2007.


The river port of Bratislava provides additional connections for freight traffic , via the Danube to the Black Sea and via the Main-Danube Canal to the North Sea . In addition, numerous cruise ships and the high-speed catamaran Twin City Liner operate on the river to Vienna.

Bicycle traffic, cycle paths and hiking trails

Freedom bicycle bridge between Devínska Nová Ves and Hof Castle

Bratislava is connected to some official national and international long-distance cycle routes, e.g. For example, the Iron Curtain Trail , which runs along the former Iron Curtain from Norway to the Black Sea, and the Danube Cycle Path , which accompanies the Danube from its source to the mouth of the Black Sea. In commuter traffic, cycling plays a subordinate role (1.6% in 2013). The city has around 110 kilometers of officially marked cycle paths of varying quality. Along the dams on the March and Danube, there are well-developed bicycle paths that are separated from motor vehicle traffic, while in the built-up area they are often patchy. Little consideration was given to bicycle traffic when carrying out new construction projects. In 2012, the cross-border bicycle bridge between Devínska Nová Ves and Hof Palace was opened. To increase the share of bicycle traffic, the city created in partnership with the company Slovnaft in 2018 an official bike sharing called SlovnaftBAjk that is available in the districts of Stare Mesto, Petržalka, Nové Mesto and Ružinov.

The European long-distance hiking trail E8 runs through the city from Ireland to the Polish-Ukrainian border. The longest Slovak long-distance hiking trail, the Cesta hrdinov SNP , starts below Devín Castle and ends after 769 kilometers at the Duklapass on the Polish-Slovakian border. Other hiking trails are also signposted, mainly in the Little Carpathians.


In the Bratislava Forest Park in the Nové Mesto district there is a 1 km long chairlift . It was opened in 1972, shut down in 1989 and reopened in 2005 after renovation.

Electricity, gas, water and waste disposal

The company Západoslovenská energetika , as (ZSE) is responsible for the energetic distribution network . The first municipal power station was put into trial in 1901 and in continuous operation in 1902.

In the Austrian Empire, Bratislava was one of the first cities (after Vienna and Prague, but before Budapest) with a gas network when the first city ​​gas works went into operation in 1856 . This stood near the Fürstenallee (today Námestie slobody ) and the volume of gas produced initially reached 350,000 m³ annually and shortly before the First World War 4.3 million m³. In 1936 a new gas works was built in the Mlynské nivy district as a replacement, with an annual capacity of 11 million m³, where the Slovak Gas Works Museum has been located since 1996. After the Second World War, the gas works was nationalized and town gas was increasingly being replaced by natural gas , initially with supplies from the Záhorie region, and from the 1970s onwards with the construction of the Transgas pipeline through those from Siberian gas fields. The last town gas consumers were taken off the grid in 1978. Today the state company Slovenský plynárenský priemysel provides gas distribution.

The water supply is provided by the company Bratislavská vodárenská spoločnosť, as (BVS). In 2017 there were 1184 km of water pipes, with around 36,700 house connections the total length of the distribution system is 1441 km. Almost all households (more than 99%) have a connection to the public water distribution network. The drinking water is drawn from six different sources located on the islands of Sihoť and Sedláčkov ostrov, in the Pečniansky les forest, in Rusovce-Ostrovné lúčky-Mokraď and in Rusovce and Čunovo.

In 2017, 960 km of sewer systems (1173 km including approx. 28,800 house connections) were installed for wastewater treatment. In relative terms, more than 90% of households are connected to the public sewer system. There are three major sewage treatment plants: Vrakuňa for the center and the northern and eastern districts, Petržalka for the southern and Devínska Nová Ves for the northwestern districts.

The municipal company Odvoz a likvidácia odpadov (OLO) is responsible for waste disposal . The town's incinerator is located in the Vlčie hrdlo district and has been in operation since 1978. The capacity of the incinerator is around 130,000 tons of waste per year and supplies an average of 33,000 MWh of electricity to the grid every year. In 2017, 183,298 tons of waste were recycled, 43,109 tons were incinerated and 286 tons were stored.


A city police patrol car

In Bratislava there are 18 police stations of the state police , which are organizationally brought together in five regional directorates, which in turn belong to the Bratislava regional directorate. In addition, the city has its own city ​​police (mestská polícia Bratislava) , which is mainly responsible for traffic monitoring (administrative offenses), implementation of municipal regulations and maintenance of public order.

The Slovak Ministry of the Interior operates a professional fire service in the city with four fire stations and around 260 employees, plus there are also volunteer fire departments .

education and Science

Main building of the Comenius University

The first university in Bratislava and the first in what is now Slovakia was the Universitas Istropolitana founded in 1465 by Pope Paul II at the request of the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus . It was closed again around 1490 after Corvinus' death.

Bratislava is the seat of several universities and colleges. These include the Comenius University founded in 1919 (the largest university in Slovakia), the Slovak Technical University founded in 1937 (the largest technical university in the country) as well as the two oldest art colleges in the country, the College of Performing Arts and the College of Fine Arts ( both founded in 1949). Other institutions for higher education are the Bratislava University of Economics (1940), the Slovak Medical University (2002), the private Pan-European University (2004) and an economics faculty of the City University of Seattle (1993). There are a total of around 50,000 students in Bratislava (as of 2017).

In 2017 there were 149 kindergartens , 87 elementary schools , 37 high schools , 48 technical schools , four conservatories , 43 special schools and 29 elementary arts schools in the city area .

The Slovak Academy of Sciences is also based in Bratislava.


Hospital in Petržalka

According to the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, in 2017 there were a total of 23 health facilities of all kinds (hospitals / clinics, both public and private) with a total capacity of 4224 beds and 183 pharmacies in the city of Bratislava, plus numerous doctors in outpatient departments . The University Hospital Bratislava (Univerzitná nemocnica Bratislava) operates at five locations. These hot Nemocnica Ružinov in Ružinov (also head office), Nemocnica akademika Ladislava Dérera or colloquially Nemocnica Kramáre in the district Kramáre , Nemocnica Stare Mesto in Stare Mesto, Nemocnica svätého Cyrila a Metoda or Nemocnica Antolská in Petržalka and Špecializovaná geriatrická nemocnica Podunajské Biskupice (geriatric hospital) in Podunajské Biskupice.

Construction of the Rázsochy Hospital in Lamač began in the 1980s, but was never completed. The shell was demolished in spring 2020; instead, a new hospital project is to be implemented there by 2024.


Bratislava is the center of the Slovak media landscape. Major television stations based in the city are the public Slovenská televízia and the private broadcasters TV Markíza , TV JOJ and TA3 . The public broadcasting company Slovenský rozhlas is also based in Bratislava, as are commercial broadcasting companies such as Rádio Expres , Fun rádio , Rádio Vlna or the Rádio Európa 2 . There are also local radio broadcasters. The most important radio station is located at the Bratislava TV tower. Because of the proximity to the border with Austria and Hungary, terrestrial reception from Austrian ( Kahlenberg broadcasters ) and Hungarian radio stations is also possible.

The most important newspapers are SME , Pravda , Nový Čas , Hospodárske noviny (business newspaper), Denník N , Plus alles deň , Šport (sports newspaper), The Slovak Spectator (English-language newspaper) and Új Szó (Hungarian-language newspaper). Two news agencies are also represented here, the state Tlačová agentúra Slovenskej republiky (TASR) and the private Slovenská tlačová agentúra (SITA).

The free newspaper Bratislavské noviny appears every two weeks , with a focus on current events in Bratislava.



Historic building of the Slovak National Theater on Hviezdoslav Square

The city's theater tradition can be traced back to the 17th century, when the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary and performances especially accompanied coronations, conferences and royal visits. The first permanent theater was opened in 1776 as the Municipal Theater .

Today Bratislava is the seat of the Slovak National Theater (Slovenské národné divadlo) , which is spread over two buildings. The first was built in 1885/1886 in neo-renaissance style on Hviezdoslav Square in the old town. The new building on the banks of the Danube was opened in 2007 after a 21-year construction period. The National Theater is a three-part theater for drama , opera and ballet . The Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav Theater (divadlo Pavla Országha Hviezdoslava) on Laurinská Street is managed by the City of Bratislava .

Smaller and alternative theaters include the Bratislava Puppet Theater (Bratislavské bábkové divadlo) , the Astorka Korzo '90, the Arena Theater (Divadlo Aréna) , the GUnaGU Theater, the L + S Studio, the Ludus Theater, the Naive Theater Radošina (Radošinské naivné divadlo) and the New Scene (Nová scéna) .


The seat of the Slovak Philharmonic, the Reduta

The 18th century was the heyday of music in Bratislava. The event was closely linked to that in nearby Vienna. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first visited Pressburg at the age of six. Other well-known composers who made guest appearances in what was then Pressburg were Joseph Haydn , Ludwig van Beethoven , Franz Liszt and Béla Bartók . The composers Johann Nepomuk Hummel and Franz Schmidt as well as the contemporary composers Ivan Parík , Ilja Zeljenka , Ladislav Kupkovič , Vladimir Godár, Peter Machajdík , Martin Burlas and Peter Zagar were born here. The city is the seat of the Slovak Philharmonic . The Bratislava Symphony Orchestra is located in the city .

From 1964 to 1989 the music festival Bratislavská lýra ("Bratislava Lyra") took place. In pop and rock music, some well-known groups and performers come from Bratislava, such as Dežo Ursíny (Big Beat, group The Beatmen ), Pavol Hammel (rock, pop rock), Miroslav Žbirka and Richard Müller (pop) as well as the groups Elán , Tublatanka ( Rock), Collegium Musicum (art rock), LOJZO (folk music) and the new wave group Banket .


The first film screening in Bratislava took place on December 25, 1896, just one year after the first screening by the French Lumière brothers . In 1905, shows began in the first permanent cinema , the "Electro Bioscop", which has been located on Hviezdoslav Square since 1913 . The cinema still exists today and is currently known as "Kino Mladosť". The first short films were also produced during the Habsburg monarchy.

Today Bratislava is the center of the Slovak film industry, the seat of the Koliba Film Studio and the Slovak Film Institute. There are four multiplex cinemas in the city , all in shopping centers (Eurovea, Aupark, VIVO! And Bory Mall) and 14 traditional cinemas and film clubs , plus seven summer cinemas .


Pressburger croissants

As in Vienna, a lively coffee house culture has developed in Bratislava . The first businesses were opened in the 18th century. Café Mayer , founded in 1873 on the main square, is one of the traditional businesses . The old coffee house culture reached its peak in the first Czechoslovak Republic. There was a downfall during the time of socialist Czechoslovakia, but a renewed boom has been observed since the 2000s.

Due to the city's multicultural history, the local cuisine reflects influences from several ethnic cuisines such as Austrian , Slovak , Hungarian , Jewish and others. The wine-growing has a long tradition of the city, with vineyards on the slopes of the Little Carpathians . According to the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, there were around 600 ha of vineyards in Bratislava in 2017, of which 500 ha in Okres Bratislava III and 100 ha in Okres Bratislava IV. 67% of the vineyards are in the Rača district . Specific types of wine are Blaufränkisch (frankovka modrá) , Grüner Veltliner (veltlínske zelené) , Rheinriesling (rízling rýnsky) , Müller-Thurgau , St. Laurent (svätovavrinecké) and others. A specialty of the city are the Pressburger Kipferln or Beugel ( Slovak bratislavské rožky , Hungarian pozsonyi kifli ) with poppy seed or nut filling that are horseshoe or C-shaped. The pastry should have been offered in Bratislava restaurants as early as 1590, but is probably of older origin. Today the Pressburger Kipferln enjoy the status of a guaranteed traditional specialty .

Regular events

Events in different cultural areas are held in Bratislava every year. Music festivals include the Bratislava Music Festival ( Bratislavské hudobné slávnosti ; classical music), the Bratislava Jazz Days ( Bratislavské jazzové dni ; jazz), the Viva Musica! in summer and the Wilsonic Festival (hip hop, indie rock, alternative music and pop music).

Several film festivals take place in the city, including the International Film Festival , which has been taking place since 1999, or specialized festivals such as Ekotopfilm (ecology) and Febiofest (alternative).

In addition to the festivals mentioned above, other events take place every year: at the end of January and beginning of February the Bratislava Ball has been held since 2001; In April there has been an “Open House Weekend” called Bratislava pre všetkých (Bratislava for All) since 2004 . The Long Night of the Museums is held once a year . In summer the city organizes the cultural summer and castle festival (kultúrne leto a hradné slávnosti) . Furthermore, the coronation ceremony (Korunovačné slávnosti) has been held in Pressburg since 2003 in memory of the crowned monarchs in the period 1563-1830 . At the turn of the month between August and September, the state organization Center of Folk Crafts (ÚĽUV) organizes the festival Dni majstrov ÚĽUV, which specializes in folk handicrafts . So-called Roman Games take place in Rusovce in September. Since 2015, the Biela noc (White Night) cultural festival, modeled on the Parisian Nuit Blanche, has been held in early autumn . At the end of the year the Christmas market (since 1993) and the New Year's Eve party (since 1999) also take place.

Museums and galleries

Good Shepherd House with clock museum

The Slovak National Museum (Slovenské národné múzeum), founded in 1961, is located in the old town on the banks of the Danube. The National Museum is the most important cultural institution in the country. It operates 16 other specialized museums across Slovakia; in Bratislava these are, in addition to six other museums, the Natural History Museum (Prírodovedné múzeum) and the Archaeological Museum (Archeologické múzeum) . The City Museum (Múzeum mesta Bratislavy) deals with the history of the city. It was founded in 1868 and is the oldest existing museum in the country. In addition to the main exhibition in the Old Town Hall, the museum has seven outdoor locations, including the weapons museum in the tower of Michael’s Gate and the clock museum in the Good Shepherd House (Dom U dobrého pastiera) .

Gallery Nedbalka

The Slovak National Gallery (Slovenská národná galéria) , founded in 1948, is an association of various art museums in Slovakia. There are two exhibitions in the old town of Bratislava, in the Esterházy Palace (Esterháziho palác) and in the adjacent water barracks (Vodné kasárne) on the banks of the Danube. The Municipal Gallery (Galéria mesta Bratislava) , founded in 1961, is the second largest museum association, with exhibitions in the Pálffypalais (Pálfiho palác) and in the Mirbachpalais (Mirbachov palác) . The Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum in the Čunovo district south of the Danube specializes in modern art . Slovak artists of the 20th century are presented in the Galéria Nedbalka in a renovated city palace.

Other museums are the Transport Museum, which deals with the cars and trains in Slovakia up to the 1970s, the Pharmaceutical Museum, the Museum of Jewish Culture in the Landadel Palace Zsigray, an exposition of the Ship Museum and others.


The Národný futbalový štadión
Ball sports

Ball players in Bratislava have around 60 soccer stadiums or soccer fields, 74 basketball courts, 128 volleyball courts and 61 tennis courts at their disposal.

A club from Bratislava is represented in the top Slovak football league, the Fortuna League , in 2016/17: ŠK Slovan Bratislava , founded in 1919, plays in the Štadión Pasienky and is the most successful Slovak club ever; The greatest success was winning the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1969. Before that, the club played in the Štadión Tehelné pole , which once could hold 30,000 spectators. It was abandoned in 2009 due to construction defects and was demolished in 2013. In its place, the Národný futbalový štadión (German National Football Stadium ) with a capacity of 22,500 seats was built from 2014 to 2019 . The FC Petržalka 1898 (established in 1898) is the oldest club in the city and also plays its home games at the Štadión Pasienky (until 2008 Štadión Petržalka , now demolished) and played for years in the Slovak first league; his greatest achievement was participation in the main round of the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League . Another well-known club is FK Inter Bratislava , which was founded in 1940 and also played in the Pasienky Stadium.

The national tennis center with the Sibamac Arena is the venue for numerous cultural and sporting events, including the 2005 Davis Cup final .

The city is represented in the top Slovak leagues for basketball , handball , volleyball and water polo .

Ice sports
The Zimný štadión Ondreja Nepelu

Bratislava has three halls for ice sports . The HC Slovan Bratislava played from 2012 to 2019 in the Continental Hockey League (KHL). Before and after that, the club played in the Slovak extra league and was Slovak champion eight times. He plays his home games in the Zimný štadión Ondreja Nepelu (Nové Mesto district), which has a capacity of 10,055 spectators. The Bratislava Capitals , who will take part in the Austrian Ice Hockey League from 2020, will also play in this stadium . The other ice rinks are in Ružinov (Zimný štadión Vladimíra Dzurillu) and Dúbravka. The ice hockey world championships in 1959 and 1992 took place simultaneously in Prague and Bratislava. Together with Košice , Bratislava was one of the venues for the 2011 World Cup and 2019 World Cup . From the scene of figure skaters successful athletes have already emerged in the city including Ondrej Nepela and Karol Divín.

Water sports, athletics and other sports
Water sports center Čunovo

Čunovo, near the Gabčíkovo power station, is an important center for water sports such as rafting and canoeing slalom . Numerous national and international canoe and kayak competitions are held in the local water sports center every year . The city has about eight boat houses.

Much closer to Bratislava in the municipality of Šamorín is the so-called X-Bionic Sphere , which, as an Olympic training center in Slovakia, has facilities for around 30 disciplines and is used, for example, for international horse riding, swimming and triathlon competitions.

The national race Devín – Bratislava (Národný beh Devín-Bratislava) over 11.6 km, which has been held annually since 1921, is the oldest athletics event in Slovakia. The Bratislava Marathon first took place in 2006.

In addition to the sports mentioned above, gymnastics , swimming and horse riding are widespread in the city . In 1988 there were 109 gyms , 26 swimming pools and 7 riding arenas for this purpose  . Petržalka is the location of a race track for horse and greyhound races .


People born in or closely related to the city

Bratislava is the birthplace of numerous personalities. Due to the ethnic diversity of the city, especially before the end of the 19th century, the list of personalities of the city of Bratislava includes not only Slovaks but also numerous people of German, Austrian and Hungarian nationality.

Honorary citizen (selection)


  • Iris Engemann: The Slovakization of Bratislava: University, Theater and Cultural Communities 1918 - 1948 . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2012, ISBN 978-3-447-06640-2 (also dissertation European University Viadrina ).
  • Irene Hanappi: Bratislava . Go, see and enjoy. 5 routes through the capital of Slovakia. History, culture, sightseeing, food and drink. 6th, revised edition. Falter, Vienna 2018, ISBN 978-3-85439-621-5 , pp. 136 (city guide).
  • V. Horváth, D. Lehotská, J. Pleva et al .: Dejiny Bratislavy . Obzor, Bratislava 1979 (Slovak).
  • Martin Hutter: Bratislava - Boomtown ante portas? In: Hitz H., Helmut Wohlschlägl , ed. Eastern Austria and neighboring regions. A geographical excursion guide to Dt. Geographers' day in Vienna. Boehlau, Vienna 2009, ISBN 978-3-205-78447-0 , p. 408-420 .
  • Marcell Jankovics : Twenty Years in Preßburg (1919-1939), Karlsruhe 2017, ISBN 978-80-8175-029-8
  • Igor Janota: Bratislavské rarity . Vydavateľstvo PT, Bratislava 2006, ISBN 80-89218-19-9 (Slovak).
  • Anton Klipp: Pressburg. New views on an old city. Karpatendeutsches Kulturwerk, Karlsruhe 2010, ISBN 978-3-927020-15-3 .
  • Johann Mathias Korabinsky : Description of the royal. Hungarian capital, Frey and Coronation City Pressburg , Pressburg 1784
  • Dušan Kováč: Bratislava 1939–1945 - Mier a vojna v meste . Vydavateľstvo PT, Bratislava 2006, ISBN 80-89218-29-6 (Slovak).
  • Dušan Kováč et al .: Kronika Slovenska . Od najstarších čias do konca 19. storočia. 1st volume. Fortuna Print, Bratislava 1998, ISBN 80-7153-174-X (Slovak).
  • Dušan Kováč et al .: Kronika Slovenska . Slovensko v dvadsiatom storočí. 2nd volume. Fortuna Print, Bratislava 1999, ISBN 80-88980-08-9 (Slovak).
  • Darina Múdra: Pressburg. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 4, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-7001-3046-5 .
  • Theodor Ortvay: Pozsony város utcái és terei (Hungarian), Pozsony 1905
  • Theodor Ortvay : History of the City of Pressburg, 7 vols., Pressburg 1892–1912
  • Emil Portisch: History of the City of Pressburg-Bratislava , 2 vols., Pressburg-Bratislava 1932/1933
  • László Szarka: Etnické zmeny v Bratislave ( Ethnic Changes in Pressburg and the Urban Administration between the World Wars ), in: Kapitoly z dejín Bratislavy, (ed. Gábor Czoch), Bratislava 2006 (Slovak)
  • Anton Špiesz: Bratislava v stredoveku . Perfect, Bratislava 2001, ISBN 80-8046-145-7 (Slovak).
  • Gunnar Strunz: Bratislava . With the Danube lowlands, small Carpathians and Záhorie. Ed .: Detlev von Oppeln, Bernd Schwenkros. 2nd updated edition. Trescher, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-89794-180-9 (travel guide).
  • Tatiana Hrnčiarová et al .: Krajinnoekologické podmienky rozvoja Bratislavy . VEDA, Bratislava 2006, ISBN 80-224-0910-3 (Slovak).
  • Viera Feráková, Ivan Jarolímek: Plants and Habitats of European Cities . Ed .: John G. Kelcey, Norbert Müller. Springer, 2011, ISBN 978-0-387-89683-0 , Bratislava, p. 79–130 (English, ).
  • Ernst Hochberger: The big book of Slovakia . 3000 key words on culture, art, landscape, nature, history, economy. 5th supplemented and expanded edition. Sinn, 2017, ISBN 978-3-921888-15-5 .
  • Pavel Dvořák: Prvá kniha o Bratislave . Budmerice 2006, ISBN 80-85501-32-5 (Slovak).
  • JC v. Thiele: The Kingdom of Hungary . Volume 6, Kaschau 1833, pp. 92-132 .

Web links

Commons : Bratislava  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Bratislava  - travel guide
Wiktionary: Bratislava  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Pressburg  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 7, 2007 .